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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:13 AM   #1
Steve in Oz
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323Ci sports suspension settings

I was looking today at a 2000 323Ci and a 2001 320Ci.

I did a VIN look-up on the 323Ci and it listed, in 'standard equipment', Option 226, Sports Suspension Settings.

The 320Ci did not have have this listed on the VIN look-up.

There's some disagreement across the forums about whether 'Sports Suspension Settings' was standard on the coupes, and whether 'Sports Suspension Settings' was different suspension parts fitted at the factory, or the standard suspension with different settings.

Does anyone know for sure?
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:30 AM   #2
scarede46er
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The sports suspension was standard on all e46 coupes after 2001. Before that it was an option for both coupes and sedans.
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:33 AM   #3
Mango
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You can ask Alex323ci when he comes on. But I know other markets can be confusing to me.

Either way it's moot. Whatever car you have from 323i auto to E46 M3 CSL, the entire suspension will need to go in the garbage.
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:58 AM   #4
BKMrSteel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango View Post
Either way it's moot. Whatever car you have from 323i auto to E46 M3 CSL, the entire suspension will need to go in the garbage.

If it's original, and you are worried about suspension performance, the 16 year old parts are likely going to need replacing.
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:55 PM   #5
Hoady02
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Steve,

I have just bought an E46 323Ci Fern Green for use as a BMW Club Event/Track Car. It appears that all Coupes (as in 323Ci and 328Ci) brought into Australia have both Sport Seats and Sport Suspensions. To check this I used RealOEM which notes that for the Sport Strut (Shock Absorber) the part number (Front Right Hand Side only) is 31316750792. If you look at a standard 323i Sedan, it came with a standard suspension part # 31316759561 for the RHS Front Strut OR the Sport suspension part # 31316750792 for the RHS Front Strut. I think that indicates you (and I) both have the Sports Suspension.

As for the 320Ci it is possible that the early versions brought into Australia did have Sports Suspensions but not Sport Seats.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Geoff
Sydney
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:38 PM   #6
Steve in Oz
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Thanks Geoff, great research!

So 'sports suspension settings' isn't just settings, it's different parts. The 323Ci does have a firm ride, though having not driven a sedan for more than a few km I have nothing to compare it to.

Your info also explains why the 320Cis I looked at had manual seats while the 323Ci has electric seats (or 'dentist chairs' as I call them).
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:30 AM   #7
Hoady02
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Steve,

Be aware that the BMW Sports Suspension (also known as an M-Tech Suspension) is around 10% stiffer than a stock suspension. That is it has sport like pretensions but is softer than most aftermarket sport suspensions which tend to be around the 15% stiffness mark. Still pretty capable and many people retain the struts/shocks but go for progressive lowering springs to drop the height and improve the cornering ability. Very driveable for most things but gets a bit ragged on a track.

Are you keeping the suspension as is or are you contemplating an upgrade?

Oh, here's is the current BMW Club Nationals Best in Class BMW E46 328i. Has the title until next year.

The 323Ci doesn't look that good...yet.

Cheers,
Geoff
Sydney
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Old 09-27-2016, 02:00 AM   #8
Steve in Oz
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My aim is to maintain the 323Ci as it came from the factory. The only concessions will be aesthetic (clear indicator lenses to replace amber) and compliance (I'll eventually put in an Eonon screen-based entertainment unit that resembles the BMW units of the time but includes Bluetooth).

I will keep the 16-inch 'Style 42' rims and eventually do something about the leather on the front seats (ageing but not yet cracking) and of course that interior trim that just keeps falling off.
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:47 AM   #9
Hoady02
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What's your email address and I will send you an article on how to restore your leather.

It's a great opportunity to keep the car's originality.

The car should be a great companion for many years if you do that!

Cheers,

Geoff
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:40 AM   #10
Steve in Oz
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Thanks!

I've sent you a PM.
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